Mona Magno, founder of Free Music for Free People and creator of Live From the Multi-Verse.EXPAND
Mona Magno, founder of Free Music for Free People and creator of Live From the Multi-Verse.
Photograph courtesy of Mona Magno

Live From The Multi-Verse Is More Than a Concert

After a three year hiatus, the media organization Free Music for Free People (FMFFP) has returned for its fourth spring showcase, Live From the Multi-Verse, on Saturday, April 13, at Mercury Cafe.

The thirty-person-plus production includes Lady Gang; Reed Fox of DéCollage; Definitely, Maybe; Twin Flame Medicine and other musicians for a theatrical night of dance and song.

FMFFP founder Mona Magno says this event will be unlike any other she has created.

"I'm bringing in different art forms to put on a storyline of the multi-verse. There's going to be characters in the crowd enhancing the audience's experience," she says, "We have a lot of silly things planned, so I'm excited to execute it with the people who have been on the planning team and helped build this."

Magno came up with the idea of organizing the show like a live television-stage set, and each band has contributed to the story. This has transformed the show from a performative night into an immersive experience, and host MO SPKX will help bring the audience into the story.

Magno and her band, Twin Flame Medicine, released their self-titled album last year at the Mercury Cafe and have been playing there off and on ever since. She felt like the venue was an opportunity to revitalize the spring showcase, which ended previously after losing a residency when Gypsy House closed.

"[The Mercury Cafe] is a nurturing space that cultivates connection and community," says Magno, "It allows people to feel safe enough to express themselves and step into themselves as professional musicians."

To Magno, bringing the various artist communities together is the most important component of the night.

"I think the community and these events allow us to know we are not alone. When we forget this, things can get really scary; things can seem so distant," she says. "When you bring people together and facilitate them connecting with one another, I think there’s an opportunity to support each other. We need to feel seen and heard."

Outside of FMFFP, Magno works for Youth on Record and runs the music education nonprofit's FEMPowered Program. This out-of-school program is for girls ages fourteen to twenty years old who are interested in learning about music and working in the music industry. For this event, she was able to bring the group on as interns so the girls could get hands-on experience in performance and event planning.

"It's super-awesome to be able to bridge my work and provide these girls a real-life point of engagement into the music scene and ability to collaborate with established artists," says Magno.

Whether it be the services FMFFP provides or the work Magno is putting in at Youth on Record, it all comes back to finding spaces for artists to create and perform. She's been shifting the model of FMFFP so it becomes more sustainable and focuses on artists who are interested in collaboration.

One opportunity that has emerged from this shift is a video internship that will integrate music and film through live jam sessions, interviews and video journalism.

"I would say all of the work I do is deep soul work. I’m compelled to do it, and it’s easy for me to do. We all have a part finding what [our] role is," says Magno.

For the out-of-this-world event on Saturday, the role of the audience will be just as important as that of the actors and musicians on stage.

"We aren’t 100 percent sure we will make it back to earth, and if it all goes well, we will make it back fully intact and inspired," Magno laughs.

Live From the Multi-Verse / FM4FP Spring Showcase, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 13, Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, $5.

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